Northern Michigan / UP: January 2009 Archives

Traverse City Record-Eagle:

What's an author and cult hero doing spinning CDs of beyond-Hitsville soul tunes on a 600-watt northern Michigan radio station for no pay? Ben Hamper -- author of the irreverent 1991 classic "Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line," his account of life at GM Truck & Bus in Flint -- is simply following his longtime passion for non-commercial music. "With a face for radio and a waist for sumo," Hamper introduces himself on-air as host of "Soul Possession" which runs from 9 to 11 p.m. every Friday on Northwestern Michigan College's WNMC. He also hosts a jazz program titled "Further Along" from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Calling out from the basement of West Hall, this is a guy who's been on Letterman, the "Today" show and other national programs. He's perfectly happy with his relatively limited but loyal audience. And with WNMC broadcasting on the Internet, it's not as limited as it once was... Radio host keeps them riveted (Fri, 1/2)


The Alpena News:

Viewers of local station WBKB will continue to be able to enjoy the CBS affiliate through their cable package, for at least the near future. The station had requested that Charter Communications remove its signal from its cable service effective Dec 31, but the cable giant plans to continue to broadcast it after the previous deadline passes. "We won't be dropping WBKB from our line-up on the Dec. 31 date set by them," Charter Vice President Tim Ransberger said. "We reviewed our contract with them and there is nothing in it that enables them to demand it." The station is asking for a fee from the carrier for use of its signal and negotiations have been ongoing since summer, but little or no progress has been made. "We sent them a letter from our attorney and we have yet to receive a response from them," Ransberger said. "We talked to their general manager, but we are not close to a long-term deal at this point." Both Charter and WBKB have received e-mails and calls from customers with questions and concern regarding the impasse... Charter: No plans to drop signal (Mon, 12/29)


Traverse City Record-Eagle:

A bomb threat received through an e-mail prompted the evacuation of employees of TV 7&4 this morning. A few station employees received an e-mail from an unknown sender between 7 and 7:30 a.m. today, said Jill Saarela, the station's vice president and chief executive officer. She wouldn't say whether the e-mail specified why 7&4 was targeted. The threat forced 20 people to evacuate the building off M-72 in Elmwood Township... Bomb threat evacuates 7&4 (Thu, 1/15)

Updated, 1/16: Maybe someone wasn't happy with a weather forecast. The Elmwood Township offices of local NBC affiliate TV 7&4 were evacuated Thursday morning after a bomb threat. Emergency crews didn't turn up any explosives, but the threat brought the station to a halt for a few hours as authorities looked for signs of trouble. Someone e-mailed the threat to a few station employees at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, station president and chief executive officer Jill Saarela said... Bomb threat e-mailed to TV station


Recent format changes in Tawas and Menominee

Northern Christian Radio has introduced separate programming on its newest radio station, WRQC FM 91.3 East Tawas. Now known as 91-3 The Rock, the new format is Christian rock. When Northern Christian Radio first signed on the station last summer it was simulcasting the mainstream Christian music and talk programming heard on the group's other radio stations that are based out of WPHN FM 90.5 Gaylord and include WHST FM 106.1 Tawas City.

In the Upper Peninsula, WSFQ-FM 96.3 Marinette, WI / Menominee, MI recently shifted from Classic Rock to Classic Hits as "Hits 96.3". The station is owned by Bay Cities Radio/Armada Media.


Traverse City Record-Eagle:

Ten staff members were let go at TV 7&4 as its parent company reported an "extremely challenging" business climate due to the economic downturn. Nine full-time staffers, including some on-air positions, and one part-time job were eliminated by the local NBC affiliate this week, station president and CEO Jill Saarela said Friday. The station is owned by Barrington Broadcasting Group LLC based in Hoffman Estates, Ill. "7&4 has been reporting on layoffs in every sector of the economy and we are not immune," Saarela said in a statement. "Just like in other businesses, these are good people with families and homes in northern Michigan. They are our friends and valued co-workers and we were devastated to have made these painful decisions." Saarela said TV 7&4 is among several stations owned by Barrington that made staff cuts this week, although she didn't know how many positions were eliminated throughout the company... TV 7&4 staff cuts target 10 (Sat, 1/31)







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This page is a archive of entries in the Northern Michigan / UP category from January 2009.

Northern Michigan / UP: February 2009 is the next archive.

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